Cajuns softball team adds three transfers

LAFAYETTE — University of Louisiana at Lafayette softball coach Michael Lotief announced Monday that transfers Kirsten Schwirtlich, Katie Repole and Taylor Terrio will join the program for the 2015 season.

“All three of them have Division I experience,” Lotief said. “Kirsten was her conference’s (Southland) best shortstop. Taylor was the freshman of the year (in the Southland), and Katie played in the Big Ten. ... All of them wanted to be in this program, and they understand and have the need to play at the highest level.”

A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, Schwirtlich lettered two seasons at Houston Baptist, where she started in all 92 games at shortstop and in the outfield for the Huskies. Last season, Schwirtlich earned NFCA All-Region third team and All-Southland Conference first team honors after leading the league with a .411 batting average. Her .702 slugging and .508 on-base percentages were second best in the conference.

In her first collegiate season, Schwirtlich was named Southland freshman of the year and to the league’s second team. In 2013, she batted .366 and led the SLC with a .699 slugging percentage and 1.12 RBIs per game, which ranked 19th nationally. Schwirtlich led the Huskies with a .988 fielding percentage in 42 starts at shortstop.

A native of San Antonio, Repole will be closer to home after playing two seasons at Illinois. In 2014, she appeared in 36 games, starting all but one at third base.

During her freshman season, Repole made 43 appearances with 31 starts. She tied a 12-year school record with nine assists without an error in a game against Houston.

Terrio comes to Lafayette after one season at Nicholls State, where she earned Southland Conference first team honors and was named the SLC freshman of the year. A native of Paulina, Terrio started all 52 games in the outfield last season. She led the team and was fifth in the conference with a .389 batting average and 65 hits. Terrio was 10-for-14 in stolen bases.

UL-Lafayette is coming off its sixth Women’s College World Series appearance and a 49-10-1 record. The Ragin’ Cajuns return 25 letter-winners, losing just two seniors in Natalie Fernandez and Shelbi Redfearn. In addition to the three transfers, the squad welcomes nine freshmen.

“This group accepts the challenge that’s in front of us, which is we’re not going into this like status quo,” Lotief said. “We’re trying to go into the fall and be as competitive as we can. I think we have some good freshmen that are coming in, and I think these transfers are going to compete and up the standard. We’re going to have a very experienced team next year, and the dynamics of the team are going to be very interesting. We’re going to have a very experienced team — and we’re going to have a very young team.”